USHIGORO (Nishi Azabu)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 15.2013 Yakiniku & Korean 1 comments 0 trackback
Sorry that I haven't been able to post anything for almost a year, but my new gig has kept me away from everything including my better half. Will try to post at least twice a month from now.

UR outside
Japanese people just love Korean BBQ, but that is Yakiniku (Japanese style Korean BBQ) and I think any foreigner would admit that they love it as well. There are just so many Yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo, but if you are looking for a place where you can use for a date or business dinner and still have top beef, USHIGORO at Nishi Azabu is one of the new trendy Yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo.

UR tennai
You can order a la carte at Ushigoro, but my recommendation is to order their most expensive course called KIWAMI COURSE for 10,000 yen per person. Kiwami means "The Best" and the beef is exceptional for this price.

UR sirloin
It starts out with a thinly sliced Sirloin.

UR Sirloin yaki
It's just cooked for a few seconds and then they roll it, deep it in an egg sauce and you eat at one bite.

UR Tongue
Next is Tongue which is also thinly sliced. It's rare to see such thinly sliced tongue.

UR Tongue cook
This is also just cooked for a minute or two.

UR Bui 1
Various parts of beef are provided. It usually depends on the day, but HARAMI (Skirt), TOMOSANKAKU (Top lound), KALBI (Short plate) mostly served.

UR Namuru
Of course, KIMCHI (Spicy pickles) and NAMURU (Light boiled seasoned vegetables) come with the course.

UR mino
Stomach parts like MINO (Tripe) is in the course and not chewy at all.

UR Chateau Burian
But the best part is CHATEAUBRIAND (center part of tenderloin). It is unbelievably tender and juicy. By far, my favorite part of beef at Ushigoro.

UR Rice
At the end, you get to choose from BEEF CURRY and a couple other soup rice dishes before desert.

UR desert
And of course, just like any Yakiniku restaurant they offer simple deserts like ICE CREAM, and ANNINTOFU (Almond jelly).

UR Wine
For a yakiniku restaurant, Ushigoro has an amazing wine list. I've never seen such a wine list at at yakiniku restaurant. Plus the prices are very reasonable. Make sure you make a reservation a couple of days in advance. It is not down to earth Yakiniku, very modern, but if you are looking for a non-smoky Yakiniku restaurant with top beef and service, Ushiroku is for you.

UR Sushi

USHIGORO (in Japanese, うしごろ)
Address: 2-24-14 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都港区西麻布2-24-14)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Roppongi or Hiroo (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-3406-4129
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.ushigoro.com/jp/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 5pm-12am (Last order is 11pm)
Closed: None, but New Years

Prices: Kiwami Course 10,000 yen
Other courses from 5,000 and 8,500 yen

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ICHIRYU (Komazawa)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 20.2012 Yakiniku & Korean 0 comments 0 trackback
ichiryu outside 1 enlarge
Most people have a favorite yakiniku (Japanese style Korean BBQ) restaurant in their neighborhood. These restaurants are focused on family, not businessmen after work and ours is ICHIRYU at Komazawa.

ichiryu kakuteki enlarge
Ichiryu's meat is top quality meat, but not the finest. They don't have any specialties and their menu is just like any other yakinuku restaurant, but their KAKUTEKI (Japanese radish kimchi) for 500 yen is different from others and its probably why I keep going here. Usually, Kakuteki is just spicy and sour, but Ichiryu's uses dried kelp when they pickle it. This brings out additional sweetness and makes it slimy as well. There is nothing special about their regular Chinese cabbage kimichi, but almost every customer orders kakuteki,

ichiryu ムンチュ
Their house salad, MUNCHU for 1,200 yen is a must as well. Its in a soy sauce & sesame oil based dressing.

ichiryu カルビ enlarge
And just like any other good yakiniku restaurant, you want to order KALBI (Marinated or salted short ribs),

ichiryu ハラミ
HARAMI (Marinated or salted beef skirt),

ichiryu ロース
ROSU (Marinated or salted sirloin),

ichiryu 上ミノ
MINO (Marinated or salted rumen) , which all come in various grades. The higher the grade of the meat, the higher the price.

ichiryu 豚トロ
If you want some pork, there is TON TORO (Marinated or salted pork cheek), which is extra juicy and tender.

ichiryu レバ刺し
If you like raw meet, their NAMA LIVER (Raw beef liver) for 1,250 yen is always extra fresh and delicious.

テグタンスープ enlarge
Their soups are delicious as well and many customers order TEGUTAN SOUP (Spicy beef brisket soup),

ichiryu ice cream enlarge
When you are done with your meal, they will serve either ice cream or sherbet for free.

ichiryu inside
If you just happened to be in the neighborhood and looking for a reasonable and delicious yakiniku restaurant do try Ichiryu. Do note that Ichiryu is a common name used for a yakiniku restaurant and there are at least 20 with the same in Tokyo.

ichiryu menu enlarge

ICHIRYU (in Japanese, 一龍)
Address: 2-1-4 Nozawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都世田谷区野沢2-1-4)
Nearest train station: Tokyu Denentoshi line Komazawa (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-3421-2638
Reservations: Yes
Website: None
English menu: None
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 5pm-3am
Closed: Tuesday

Prices: Jyo Calbi (Special Calbi) 2,500 yen
Calbi (Short rib) 1,300 yen
Harami (Skirt) 1,450 yen
Jyo Tongue (Special Tongue) 1,870 yen
Toro Buta (Extra tender pork) 920 yen
Jyo Mino (Special Rumen) 1,290 yen
Leba Sashi (Liver Sashimi) 1,250 yen
Kakuteki (Spicy pickled Japanese radish) 500 yen
Munchu (Original Salad) 1,200 yen
Other dishes from 400-5,000 yen

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SUTAMINAEN (Shikahama)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 27.2011 Yakiniku & Korean 0 comments 0 trackback
スタミナ苑 outside
Japanese style Korean BBQ better known as Yakiniku was invented by Korean's living in Japan after World War II. It is different from real Korean BBQ, but unless you can't or don't eat beef, most people will say that Yakiniku is one of their favorite foods. Almost everyone has their favorite Yakiniku restaurant, but the most famous one and considered the best to many is SUTAMINAEN at Shikahama.

スタミナ苑 teppan
So what makes Sutaminaen special? Well its not only the quality of meat, but how the owner/chef trims it. They use an old fashion steel plate and gas grill which you don't see much anymore.

スタミナ苑 生野菜
Like most customers you want to start out with NAMAYASAI (Salad)

スタミナ苑 kakuteki
and order some KAKUTEKI

スタミナ苑 キムチ
or KIMICHI (Spicy pickled radish or Chinese cabbage)

スタミナ苑 ポテトサラダ
Their POTATO SALAD is famous as well.

スタミナ苑 上タン
Then move on to JYO TAN SHIO (Special tongue) for 1,800 yen just like any other Yakinuku restaurant.

スタミナ苑 ミックスホルモン
Next would be their specialty MIX HORUMON (Various guts) for 1,700 yen. By far this is the best horumon I ever had.

スタミナ苑 上カルビ
You want to try their Karubi so you order JYO KARUBI (Special boneless short rib) for 2,400 yen

スタミナ苑 特選上カルビ
or if you want to try the best its TOKUSEN JYO KARUBI (Prime boneless short rib) 1 slice 1,200 yen.

スタミナ苑 特選上ロース
It you want to try a steak kind of Yakiniku try TOKUSEN JYO ROSU (Prime loin) for 8,000-11,000 yen price

スタミナ苑 中ロース
or JYO ROSU (Special loin) for 2,400 yen, which is thinner.

スタミナ苑 特上ハラミ
You should also try JYO HARAMI (Special skirt steak) for 1,700 yen

スタミナ苑 牛ヒレ
and GYI HIRENIKU (Filet Migion) for 2,200 yen as well.

スタミナ苑 tegutan
You can order rice on the side as well, but with it also order TEGUTAN (Spicy beef soup) for 1,000 yen

スタミナ苑 comutan
or KOMUTAN (Beef soup) 1,100 yen. They are both delicious.

スタミナ苑 outside 1
Sutaminaen is located in one of the most inconvenient locations. They do have a parking lot, but if you are taking public transportation, you need to take a bus or taxi from the nearest train station. Also, the wait can be crazy on weekends. Former Prime Minster Obuchi was a regular of Sutaminaen but even him with his secret police guards had to wait on line like any other customers. If any of your friends is a regular at Sutaminaen, the owner will serve several dishes which aren't on the menu. These are not only special but great as well.

スタミナ苑 inside
Its not a pretty restaurant at all and needs serious renovation, but people from all over Japan want to eat here and once you do I'm sure you will be back even with the crazy wait or inconvenient location.

SUTAMINAEN (in Japanese, スタミナ苑)
Address: 3-13-4 Shikahama, Adachi-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都足立区鹿浜3-13-4)
Nearest train station: JR Akabane
(but you will need to take a bus or taxi from Akabane starion)
Tel: 03-3897-0416
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.mode-web.jp/sutamina/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: Wednesday-Friday 5pm-11pm, Saturday, Sunday & Holiday 4:30pm-11pm
Closed: Monday & Tuesday

Prices: Tokusen Jyo Karubi (Prime boneless short rib) 1 slice 1,200 yen
Tokusen Jyo Rosu (Prime loin) 8,000-11,000 yen
Honetsuki Karubi (Short rib) 1,800 yen
Jyo Karubi (Special boneless short rib) 2,400 yen
Jyo Rosu (Special loin) 2,400 yen
Chu Rosu (Loin) 1,800 yen
Gyu Hireniku (Filet Migion) 2,200 yen
Tokyujyo Harami (Extra Special skirt steak) 1,900 yen
Jyo Harami (Special skirt steak) 1,700 yen
Mami Harami (Skirt steak) 1,950 yen
Jyo Tan Shio (Special tongue) 1,800 yen
Mix Horumon (Various guts) 1,700 yen
Komutan (Beef soup) 1,100 yen
Tegutan (Spicy beef soup) 1,000 yen
Other items 300-2,000 yen

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KUROHITSUJI (Nakameguro)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 05.2011 Yakiniku & Korean 0 comments 0 trackback
くろひつじ outside
JINGISUKAN is from Hokkaido, where its the most popular & common BBQ they eat.(at home, outdoors and restaurants) There weren't many Jingisukan restaurants anywhere else in Japan, but about 6 years ago, a boom came since mutton/lamb meat has less calories than any other meat and woman jumped on it. Because of this many restaurants in Tokyo opened. In the beginning, people thought it was just another boom, but it turns out it wasn't. And one of the first shops to open and good one is KUROHITSUJI at Nakameguro.

kurohituji jingisukan 1
Jingusukan is a pretty simple BBQ. Its slices of mutton meat with bean sprout and onions. The word Jingusukan actually comes from Genghis Khan, the famous ruler of Mongol. People in Hokkaido, eat marinated mutton, but in Tokyo non flavored mutton is more popular than marinated mutton. When its cooked, you dip it in a soy sauce based sauce. In my opinion, its this sauce which separates the good restaurants and not so good restaurants, more than the quality of mutton/lamb.

kurohituji jingisukan
Put bean sprouts and onions on the grill first and keep the center part open so there is room to put the meat. Just grill it til its ready and dip it in the sauce before it goes into your mouth. JINGISUKAN (Mutton BBQ with vegetables) is 1,000 yen.

kurohitsuji atsugiri

くろひつじ 厚切りラムロース
If you wanna try other meats, there is KOHITSUJI NO GOKUJYO LAMU ROSU (Lamb loin) for 980 yen,

kurohitsuhi lamb chop

くろひつじ ラムチョップ
or LAMU CHOP (Lamb chop) for 480 yen per piece.

kurohitsuji ramen
You can have a bowl of rice with this, but I recommend to have try their ramen, which is called ZEPPIN RAMEN for 480 yen.

kurohitsuji inside 4

kurohitsuji inside
The interior is simple, but modern unlike other Jigisukan restaurants, but do remember that it is very smoky inside.

kurohitsuji inside 3
If you don't have a reservation, the wait can be over a hour so I strongly recommend to make one. Also, for weekends they are open for lunch as well. Unless you over drink, they bill per person should be somewhere between 3,000-5,000 yen.

kurohitsuji menu

KUROHITSUJI (in Japanese, くろひつじ)
Address: 1-11-6 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都目黒区上目黒1-11-6)
Nearest train station: Tokyi Toyoko or Tokyo Metro Nakameguro (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-5457-2255
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.kuro-hitsuji.com (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Friday 6pm-12am, Saturday, Sunday & Holiday 12pm-5pm & 6pm-12am
Closed: None

Prices: Jingisukan (Mutton BBQ with vegetables) 1,000 yen
Kohitsuji No Gokujyo Lamb Rosu (Lamb loin) 980 yen
Lamu Chop (Lamb chop) 480 yen per piece
Jyushuruino Irotoridori Yasaimori (10 assorted vegetables) 680 yen
Kinokomori (Assorted mushrooms) 490 yen
Zeppin Ramen (Ramen) 480 yen
Zeppin Dashi Chazuke (Rice in soup) 280 yen
Zeppin TKG (Rice with raw egg) 380 yen
Rice 200 yen
Rice Dai (Large rice) 300 yen
Mega Rice (Extra large rice) 400 yen
Others from 240-1,280 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 15.2011 Yakiniku & Korean 0 comments 0 trackback
築地とうがらし outside 2
When the weather is cold, one of my favorite lunch restaurants in Tsujiki is TSUKIJI TOHGARASHI. Tohgarashi is actually a Yakiniku restaurant (Japanese style Korean BBQ) at night, but their CHIGE (Spicy hot stew....in Korean it is actually spelled Jjigae, not Chige) at lunch is known to almost anyone who works at Tsukiji. Its located only a couple of minutes away from Tsukiji Fish Market and you will never see tourists, only office workers coming for lunch. The building is almost like a shack and the inside isn't pretty to say the least, but their Chige is by far the best lunch Chige I ever had in Tokyo.

築地とうがらし menu
Before you walk into Tohgarashi there will be a menu hanging outside on their door. The menu is pretty simple since there are only 5 items to choose from.

築地とうがらし stairs (2)
When you walk into Tohgarashi, you first tell the waiter (there is only one), what your order is and pick up a spoon & chopsticks. There are only 2 tables on the first floor and usually they will tell you to go to the second or third floor using the stairs,

築地とうがらし chige ramen
Most people order CHIGE RAMEN (Spicy Hot Stew Ramen) for 880 yen. They only serve 30 Chige Ramen's and its not as spicy as it looks. Besides the noodles, beef & various vegetables are in the Chige. Also, they use instant Korean ramen noodles and broth is made out of mainly beef. I always order this if it is still available and a bowl of rice for 120 yen with it as well. (its usually sold out before 12:45pm or so)

築地とうがらし udon
The second popular dish is CHIGE UDON (Spicy Hot Stew Udon) for 880 yen. The only difference between Chige Ramen and Chige Udon is the noodles.

築地とうがらし chige rice ojiya
And then, they just have CHIGE RICE (Spicy Hot Stew with Rice) for 880 yen. This doesn't have any noodles and instead it comes with a bowl of rice. If you want an extra large rice its an additional 100 yen. You can also make all the Chige's spicier if you prefer for an additional 100 yen or even extra spicy for 200 yen. You can also add an egg for 50 yen as well. Some customers add the rice into soup like the above.

築地とうがらし bibinba
Besides Chige, they have ISHIYAKIi BIBINPA (Vegetables & Grounded Beef over Rice in Hot Stone Bowl) for 880 yen. They also have regular BIBINPA (Vegetables & Grounded Beef over Rice) for 880 yen. I've have never ordered these two dishes, so I can't comment on how good it is.

築地とうがらし inside
I wouldn't recommend going to Tohgarashi during the summer since you will be sweating so much while you are eating. I've never had dinner here so never tried their Yakinuki and therefore can't comment on what dinner is like, but if its a cold day and want to eat something warm for lunch, I can't think of a better place in Tsukiji then Tohgarashi's Chige. I took my wife here for the first time in January and the only words she said while she was eating was "Oishii" meaning delicious. Try to get to Tohgarashi before 12:30pm because a couple of dishes will be sold out by then.

TSUKIJI TOHGARASHI (in Japanese, 築地とうがらし)
Address: 6-3-6 Tshukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区築地6-3-6)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Tsukiji (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3545-4322
Reservations: No
Website: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/a037101/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-1:30pm
Closed: Saturday, Sunday, Holiday

Prices: Chige Rice (Spicy Hot Stew with Rice) 880 yen
Chige Ramen (Spicy Hot Stew Ramen) 880 yen
Chige Udon (Spicy Hot Stew Udon) 880 yen
Bibinba (Vegetables & Grounded Beef over Rice) 880 yen
Ishiyaki Bibinba (Vegetables & Grounded Beef over Rice in Hot Stone Bowl) 880 yen
Rice 120 yen
Extra Large Rice additional 100 yen
Egg 50 yen
Spicy 100 yen
Extra Spicy 200 yen

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TONCHANG (Akasaka)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 16.2011 Yakiniku & Korean 2 comments 0 trackback
tonchan outside done
First time I had SAM GYEOP SAL (Pork Belly BBQ) was in Seoul, 1992. I've had Korean beef BBQ many of times, but never pork belly BBQ. It was so delicious and the most common BBQ ate in Korea, but couldn't find one restaurant in Tokyo that specialized in it. So, the only time I would eat it is when I would go back to Seoul for business. 10 years later in 2002, I was going to a meeting in Shinjuku and just happened to past by Tokyo's 1st Sam Gyeop Sal restaurant, TONCHANG on its opening day. It was as good as the best Sam Gyeop Sal restaurants in Seoul, but for the 1st year or so customers were only Korean people and I was one of the very few Japanese customers. But a year later, a Korean celebrity introduced Tonchang on a TV program and from the next day on, too many people found out how good Sam Gyeop Sal/Tonchang is.

tonchan pork
Now there are over 10 Tonchang restaurants in Tokyo, but I go to Akasaka branch since it was close to my old office. Tonchang has various kinds of pork BBQ, but want you want to order is Sam Gyoep Sal Set (Pork Belly Set) 1,029 yen.

とんちゃん 付き出し1
Sam Gyoep Sal Set comes with various side dishes, which are all delicious and free of refills.

tonchan pork2
The pork belly will be grilled on a pan made by stone with Kimichi (Spicy Pickled Chinese Cabbage). The stone pan has a hole at one of the ends and is tilled, so pork belly fat drips out through this hole.

tonchan pork3
The cooking will be done by the waiter, so once you order just leave everything up to him. He will cut it into pieces and when its done he will tell you that's its ready.

tonchan set
Pork belly itself isn't seasoned, but to make it tasty Goma-Abura (Sesame Oil with Salt), Tenjan (Korean Miso), Negi (Seasoned Shredded White Scallions) will be available with Sanchu (Korean Lettuce).

tonchan rap
The proper way of eating it is to take a piece of sanchu in one hand, then get a piece of pork belly, and dip it in sesame oil with salt, put it on the sanchu. Get some tenjan, paste it on the pork belly, get some kimichi & garlic cooked on the stone pan, and also add some negi. Rap it up and eat it.

とんちゃん 海鮮チヂミ
The dishes which you might wanna order as an appetizer is Kaisen Chijimi (Seafood Pancake) 1,344 yen.

tonchan sundobu
While you are eating sam gyeop sal you might want some soup to accompany it. I would recommend to order Soon Doo Boo (Spicy Tofu Soup) 1,029 yen. Its not spicy as it looks and if you are a group of 2-4 people, just order one and share it.

tonchan tamogochimu
Another item which everyone likes is Tamago Chim (Steamed Egg Omelette) 1,029 yen. Its really fluffy and tasty.

とんちゃん 焼き飯
And when you are done eating sam gyeop sal, you want to end your meal with Yakimeshi (Fried Rice) 525 yen. One order should be enough for 2 people, so order 2 yakimeshi's if you are a group of 4. You can add topping as well and almost everyone orders Cheese 210 yen extra. It will be cooked right in front of you by the waiter. Some of my friends say this is the best part of the whole meal.

tonchan end
Unless you don't eat pork, this is one of the best restaurants in Tokyo in so many ways. I have brought many friends and clients (Japanese and foreigners) here and all of them come back on their own with family and their friends. Only problem is that only branch which takes reservations is Akasaka, but even Akasaka doesn't on Sundays & holidays. Other locations are Shinjuku, Shin Okubo (2 stores here), Shibuya, Ebisu, Ikebukuro, Takadanobaba, Gotanda and Ueno. All the locations tasty the same, but you might wanna avoid Shinjuku, Shin Okubo, and Shibuya since the wait can be for over 1 hour.

TONCHANG (in Japanese,とんちゃん)
Address: 2-13-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo (on 2nd floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都港区赤坂2-13-14 福富ビル 2F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Akasaka (5 min walk) or Akasaka-Mitsuke (8 min walk)
Tel: 03-5573-9272
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.tonchang.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 5pm-5am
Closed: None

Prices: Sam Gyoep Sal Set (Pork Belly Set) 1,029 yen
Yakimeshi (Fried Rice) 525 yen (Cheese topping 210 yen)
Soon Doo Boo (Spicy Tofu Soup) 1,029 yen
Tamago Chim (Steamed Egg Omelette) 1,029 yen
Kaisen Chijimi (Seafood Pancake) 1,344 yen

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